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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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EFC Centre at Wat Tyler Country ParkWe are closed due to the Covid-19 situation, but we are otherwise normally open to the public at our centre at Wat Tyler Country Park every Saturday, Sunday and bank holiday 11am-4pm, check. We are also normally open on Wednesdays 10am-4pm.

Geology Site Account

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Holyfield Puddingstone, WALTHAM ABBEY, Epping Forest District, TL387030, Potential Local Geological Site

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Site name: Holyfield Puddingstone

Grid reference: TL 387030

Brief description of site:

In the hamlet of Holyfield is a Hertfordshire puddingstone boulder 90 cm long on the grass verge only a few yards from the main road and a short distance along Puck Lane. This is the boulder that started E.A. Rudge on his life-long quest for evidence of an ancient ‘conglomerate trackway’ across southern England.

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Details

Hertfordshire Puddingstone was formed around 55 million years ago when the climate of Britain was hot and a layer of pebbles beneath the surface of the ground became cemented with quartz. They are thus very resistant to erosion and have survived the rigours of the Ice Age. They originated in Hertfordshire, hence the name, and were probably carried to Essex by the River Thames when it flowed north of its present course. However, the distribution and abundance of Hertfordshire puddingstone in parts of Essex suggests that some occurrences may have a local Essex source.

The formation of silcretes (which includes sarsens and puddingstones) has been the subject of recent scientific debate. Research has compared the conditions under which sarsens and puddingstones may have been formed with the present day climate in the Kalahari Desert and parts of Australia.


 

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